Maria Firmina dos Reis
Born: 11th October 1825
Died: 11th November 1917
Birth Place: Brazil
Known for: Abolitionist and author
Maria was especially known for her novel Úrsula.
She founded a school for poor children at the age of 55.
She wrote poetry and short stories, collaborating with local newspapers in her hometown to get her work published.
Early Life and Teaching
Firmina dos Reis was a famous abolitionist and author. At the age of five she moved to Viamão where she attended school. Due to her outstanding academic performance, Firmina dos Reis won a scholarship to further her studies at the level of caderia de primeiras letras, which prepared her to be a teacher. She taught until her retirement in 1881. At the age of fifty-five, Maria founded a school for poor children.
Firmina dos Reis published her major novel Úrsula in 1859. The story centres around a girl with whom two men are in love, one a good person, the other the villain. Úrsula, the heroine of the book, defies expectations by falling for the villain and becoming a victim of his cruelty. Firmina dos Reis aimed to show through her characters that whenever women and enslaved people deviate from the patriarchal society, they are condemned.
Firmina dos Reis also wrote poetry and short stories, collaborating with local newspapers in her hometown. This was the only way she could get her work published.
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